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PHA fires back at city's bad marketing allegations

Penticton Hospitality Association president Robert Appelman (right) along with operations director Tim Hodgkinson (middle) and treasurer Marko Crucnik defended the association's tourism work before city council earlier this summer. On Wednesday Appelman said his group has done good work marketing Penticton.
November 08, 2013 - 9:48 AM

PENTICTON - The Penticton Hospitality Association might roll up its sleeves for a possible tangle with the city over control of the two per cent hotel room tax.

City council claims the association has breached its marketing obligations by not spending enough of the $400,000 collected annually from the tax but association president Rob Appelman said his group has done good work. The city requested the remaining funds be transferred to Tourism Penticton.

Mayor Garry Litke confirmed at Monday's council meeting the city signed a five-year contract with the association in 2012. He declined to comment on possible legal action the city might take. Appelman however had something to say.

"Ever since we've had control of the money the city has been trying to fight, to get the money back," he said. The association will be issuing a statement about the city's "claims and allegations" in the next couple of days.

Appelman notes the city and the association have had a tense relationship. Operations director Tim Hodgkinson said there's been positive steps towards partnering with Tourism Penticton.

Then there's the work itself.

"I feel we are doing a great job," Appelman said about the association getting the attention of potential tourists in Alberta and northern U.S. states. He's the owner of the Lakeside Villa Motel and became the association president a year ago.

"That's the biggest thing that's changed ever since I've taken over," he added.

Earlier this summer several hotel owners and operators said the marketing situation showed some improvement.

Casa Grande's Bed and Breakfast marketer Stacey Tonita said the association managed to support several festivals and activities in 2013 which is "something the city has never done."

To contact a reporter for this story, to send photos or videos, email Shannon Quesnel at squesnel@infotelnews.ca, call 250-488-3065, send tweets to @shannonquesnel1 or @InfoNewsPentict. You can also check out Shannon Quesnel or Infotel News on Facebook.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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